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'Sticky Aperture Blade' issue

Discussion in 'X100, X100S, X100T, and X70' started by Azimuth, Aug 22, 2011.

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  1. Azimuth

    Azimuth Member

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    Hi All,

    I believe that my camera is malfunctioning, but wanted to verify my finding with the forum before I send it off to Fuji Australia.

    Since buying the camera I have been plagued with random glaring over-exposures. Being a novice, I assumed that this was due to user error, but after reading about this issue in other places I've come to the conclusion that my X100 is flawed.

    To test this, I took a series of shots. Auto-ISO, Auto-DR, ND-filter, and flash were all turned off. The pictures were shot in aperture priority mode, with manual focus and no exposure compensation. I started at F2.0, and the exposure was correct.

    For each successive shot, I narrowed the aperture by turning the aperture ring one stop. As you can see from the photos, this resulted in increasingly overexposed shots with the worst exposure at the narrowest aperture(F16).

    It seems to me that my camera aperture is 'sticking' at F2.0 without narrowing to the selected setting.

    Is this a case of user error or a broken camera? Is there a better way to test this? From the little theory I know, each of these shots should be at exactly the same exposure.

    Thanks for your help,
    Ash


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  2. Arjay

    Arjay Admin Staff Member

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    I can only see your first picture - all others arend being displayed. Assuming the pictures are increasingly underexposed like you say, you r camera could very well have the sticky aperture blade sysndrome. This is not a user mistake, but a camera fault. Your camera needs to see Dr. Fuji.
     
  3. Azimuth

    Azimuth Member

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    Thank Arjay, and I think the photos are fixed now.

    The photos are increasingly over-exposed, not under. Is that what youmeant?

    -Ash
     
  4. cathy51

    cathy51 New Member

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    Mine went in this week for the same issue. Started out fine, but got increasingly worse. I am sure mine has stuck/sticking blades. Should have it back the end of this week, or the first of next.

    cathy
     
  5. Arjay

    Arjay Admin Staff Member

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    Yes. SorrY, that's what I meant. That's what happens if you write faster than you think. ;)
     
  6. rmcnelly

    rmcnelly Premium Member

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    I keep missing the opportunity to purchase the X100 when it is in stock but am increasingly worried about the many "overexposing" posts I'm seeing on different X100 forums. The other well known issues with this camera I think I can live with, but I don't want to spend this amount only to live in fear the aperture problem will surface.

    Maybe I'll wait a little longer and see how this pans out.
     
  7. montag451

    montag451 New Member

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    I had the same issue and sent it in to Fuiji. I am not sure what they replaced or did but its now working beautifully.
     
  8. cathy51

    cathy51 New Member

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    I am glad to hear this!!! Mine went in and I just waiting to see how it turns out :) Did it take very long to get it back?





     
  9. Jeff Charles

    Jeff Charles Premium Member

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    Mine went to Fuji in Edison, New Jersey for the same problem. They received it on a Tuesday morning, replaced the lens, and shipped it out on Wednesday afternoon. The camera has exposed correctly since I got it back.

    I did keep on top of Fuji from start to end. I called their X100-repair extension several times before I shipped the camera. I called again when DHL tracking showed delivery and again when I received the email that they had shipped it back. Each time, I spoke to the same person, and I think that helped.

    Jeff
     
  10. sarphoto

    sarphoto New Member

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    Sent mine off to Fuji UK yesterday with the same problem.

    Hope to get it back soon - but I'm having fun with my TLR while the X100's away!

    Simon
     
  11. vava

    vava New Member

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    Hi there

    I had exactly the same problem as you.

    Also sent my camera off to Fuji UK on Monday, arrived Tuesday.

    Was in email correspondance with their customer services throughout.

    Received an email this morning to inform me that my camera had been repaired and would be with my tomorrow (Wednesday).

    I must say their service was truly exceptional.

    I hope you have the same experience.


     
  12. cathy51

    cathy51 New Member

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    Absolutely exceptional service! I got my camera back today, with a new lens assembly and related parts and so far it is working perfectly.

    cathy


     
  13. adanac

    adanac Active Member

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    Just returned from a 4000+km driving trip through Quebec and New Brunswick (with a dash of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire thrown in) and discovered while on the trip that my X100 suffers from the same issue. Sigh. I used the ND filter and got by, but it wasn't a great experience and missed greatly being able to count on depth of field flexibility.

    Time for me to get out the documentation and make a RMA call to Fujifilm Canada... looking forward to the promised two business day turnaround...
     
  14. Riz_X100

    Riz_X100 Premium Member

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    How do I test my X100 for this problem?

    Riz :rolleyes:
     
  15. alborz

    alborz New Member

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  16. adanac

    adanac Active Member

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    The sticky blade issue doesn't depend on settings of auto-USO or use of the ND filter or auto-focus -- that some of your photos come out close to properly exposed when ND is switched ON is just a happen stance.

    You might find using a fixed ISO (200) inside a somewhat brightly lit room to be easiest to experiment with. Bear in mind the X100 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000th second at F2; the camera may highlight shutter speed in Red for your first shot(s) at or near F2.

    - shoot indoors out of direct sunlight but in a well lit room;
    - set camera to aperture priority
    - turn ND filter OFF
    - manual or auto focus, your choice
    - set your ISO to the highest level it can be such that a photo will be properly exposed at aperture F2; the goal is to have as high as possible a shutter speed at F2 but also an acceptable shutter speed at F16. Here at my kitchen table this morning I can achieve that at ISO 200. If the camera flags the shutter speed as Red when stopped down to F16 you'll need to increase ISO somewhat. Use of Auto ISO might works fine to demonstrate the actual problem with the camera and makes testing easier, but introduces another variable into the mix.

    You should find your series of photos is increasingly over exposed as the camera is stopped down from F2 to F16.

    If you are looking at the lens while snapping these photos you'll be able to detect that the aperture blades are not stopping down.

    In essence, those of us who have a camera with this problem have a **F2 only** (or thereabouts) camera... only the camera isn't aware of this at all. It calculates exposure based on the aperture you've set, despite the fact the blades will not move. As you stop down the lens it adjusts the exposure accordingly, choosing longer and longer exposure times. Since the lens is still actually at F2, these exposures at what we believe are F2.8 - F16 are in fact progressively overexposed.

    When I first noticed it I thought there was a firmware problem until I turned the camera around to face my eye and noticed the aperture blades were no longer stopping down. My early shots from the X100 indicate the blades *were* working but fairly early on failed.

    Mike
     
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  17. Jeff Charles

    Jeff Charles Premium Member

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    If you are getting consistent exposures at all apertures, you probably do not have the problem, but here is a test method:

    1. Turn off DR.
    2. Turn off auto ISO.
    3. Set aperture to f/2.
    4. Set shutter speed to 1/500.
    5. Select an ISO that produces an image that looks well exposed at those settings.
    6. Take a photo at f/2 and 1/500, followed by a photo at f/2.8 and 1/250, then one at f/4 and 1/125, etc., through f/16 and 1/8.
    7. The photos in the series should all look the same. If they get progressively brighter, your X100 has the problem.
    You may have to modify the approach based on the brightness of the scene. For example, if it's very bright, you may need to turn on the ND filter.

    Jeff

    Edit: I posted this before reading adanac's post, which describes a similar method.
     
  18. cathy51

    cathy51 New Member

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    to test mine, I set the Fn button to Depth of field preview. I set the camera to an ISO of 1600. Tho that was because I was indoors. Turn auto ISO off.
    using aperture priority compose a shot at f2, then press the fn button which will shut down the lens to f2. take the shot. Take the next shot exactly the same but DO NOT press the fn button and compare the shots. Repeat this for the other apertures, working your way to f16. compare each of the 2 shots taken at each ISO. In my case, using the fn button set to depth of field preview, demonstrated that the shutter would close when I was checking depth of field (that's what it is supposed to do, and I could take a properly exposed shot. The next shot I did not ask the camera to show depth of field, and the aperture did not close down as it should have, and the shot was overexposed.

    My lens assembly was replaced. I was able to duplicate the problem repeatedly using the above method, and I sent images to fuji to illustrate it. They were extremely good to deal with, and my camera was returned to me working well again, with an explanation of what they had done.

    cathy


     
  19. rebelsatellite

    rebelsatellite New Member

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    Is this a problem that would probably surface quickly after buying the camera?
     
  20. adanac

    adanac Active Member

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    That's interesting; I've tried using DoF preview to "force" the blades to close in the past (even earlier today) and this has failed for me. Oddly enough, I just tried it again and now my blades are closing.

    Turn the camera off and back on, and the blades don't close. Activate the DoF preview feature and blades close.

    Repeatable:

    - turn camera off and on, run through shot sequence; progressively over exposed as blades do not move.
    - turn camera off, activate DoF preview (only necessary once), run through shot sequence, shots are exposed correctly.

    If not for the apparent success of repairs made for others that have experienced this issue, you'd think this issue smells like firmware, no?

    Edit: tried this a few more times and obtained variable results. Sometimes the blades close, sometimes not. Turning the camera on while already stopped down - say to F11 - required me to activate the DoF feature, shutter half closed multiple times - before the blades fully closed. Sticky is what jumps to mind immediately.

    Once I observed a "pulsing" open/close (for about 1 second) of blades which does make me believe again that it is the mechanical workings after all.
     
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